The Full Wiki

Bogies: Wikis

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


(Redirected to Bogie article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

US-style railroad truck with journal bearings.

A bogie (pronounced /ˈboʊɡi/, us dict: bō′·gē) is a wheeled wagon or trolley. In mechanics terms, a bogie is a chassis or framework carrying wheels, attached to a vehicle. It can be fixed in place, as on a cargo truck, mounted on a swivel, as on a railway carriage or locomotive, or sprung as in the suspension of a caterpillar tracked vehicle.



Diagram showing bogie function
Archbar type truck with journal bearings as used on some steam locomotive tenders.
Bettendorf-style freight car truck displayed at the Illinois Railway Museum. This one uses journal bearings.
Bogie of a SBB Eurocity passenger car

A bogie in the UK, or a wheel truck, or simply truck in the USA and Canada as well as Mexico, is a structure underneath a train to which axles (and, hence, wheels) are attached through bearings.

Bogies serve a number of purposes:[1]

  • Support of the rail vehicle body.
  • Stability on both straight and curved track.
  • Ensuring ride comfort by absorbing vibration, and minimizing centrifugal forces when the train runs on curves at high speed.
  • Minimizing generation of track irregularities and rail abrasion.

Usually two bogies are fitted to each carriage, wagon or locomotive, one at each end. An alternate configuration often is used in articulated vehicles, which places the bogies under the connection between the carriages or wagons.

Most bogies have two axles as it is the simplest design,[1] but some cars designed for extremely heavy loads have been built with up to five axles per bogie. Heavy-duty cars may have more than two bogies using span bolsters to equalize the load and connect the bogies to the cars.

Usually the train floor is at a level above the bogies, but the floor of the car may be lower between bogies, such as for a double decker train to increase interior space while staying within height restrictions, or in easy-access, stepless-entry low-floor trains.

Key components of a bogie include:[1]

  • The bogie frame itself.
  • Suspension to absorb shocks between the bogie frame and the rail vehicle body. Common types are coil springs, or rubber airbags.
  • At least one wheelset, composed of an axle with a bearings and wheel at each end.
  • Axle box suspension to absorb shocks between the axle bearings and the bogie frame. The axle box suspension usually consists of a spring between the bogie frame and axle bearings to permit up and down movement, and sliders to prevent lateral movement. A more modern design uses solid rubber springs.
  • Brake equipment. Two main types are used: brake shoes that are pressed against the tread of the wheel, and disc brakes and pads.
  • In powered vehicles, some form of transmission, usually an electrically powered traction motors or a hydraulically powered torque converter.

The connections of the bogie with the rail vehicle allows a certain degree of rotational movement around a vertical axis pivot (bolster), with side bearers preventing excessive movement. More modern bolsterless bogie designs omit these features, instead taking advantage of the sideways movement of the suspension to permit rotational movement.[1]


BR1 bogie

The British Railways Mark 1 coach brought into production in 1950 utilised the BR1 bogie, which was rated to run at 90 mph (145 km/h). The wheels were cast as a one-piece item in a pair with their axle. The simple design involved the bogie resting on four leaf springs (one spring per wheel) which in turn were connected to the axles. The leaf springs were designed to absorb any movement or resonance and to have a damping effect to benefit ride quality.

Each spring was connected to the outermost edge of the axle by means of a roller bearing contained in oil filled axle box. The oil in these boxes had to be topped up at regular maintenance times to avoid the bearing running hot and from seizing.

There was also a heavy-duty version designated BR2.

Commonwealth bogie

Commonwealth bogie as used on BR Mark 1 and CIE Park Royals.

The SKF or Timken manufactured Commonwealth bogie was introduced in the late 1950s for all BR Mark 1 vehicles. The bogie was a heavy cast steel design weighing 6.75 ton[citation needed] with fitted sealed roller bearings on the axle ends, avoiding the need to maintain axle box oil levels.

The leaf springs were replaced with coil type springs (one per wheel) running vertically rather than horizontally. The advanced design gave a superior ride quality to the BR1, being rated for 100 miles per hour (160 km/h).

The side frame of the bogie was usually of bar construction, with simple horn guides attached, allowing the axleboxes vertical movements between them. The axleboxes had a cast steel equaliser beam or bar resting on them. The bar had two steel coil springs placed on it and the bogie frame rested on the springs. The effect was to allow the bar to act as a compensating lever between the two axles and to use both springs to soften shocks from either axle. The bogie had a conventional bolster suspension with swing links carrying a spring plank.

B4 bogie

B4 bogie as used on BR Mark 2 and Irish Cravens.

The B4 bogie was introduced in 1963. It was a fabricated steel design as versus cast iron and was hence 1.55 tons[citation needed] lighter than the Commonwealth, weighing in at 5.2 tons.[citation needed] It also had a speed rating of 100 miles per hour (160 km/h).

Axle/spring connection was again with fitted roller bearings. However, now two coil springs rather than one were fitted per wheel.[2]

Only a very small amount of Mark 1 stock was fitted with the B4 bogie from new, it being used on the Mark 1 only to replace worn out BR1 bogies. The British Rail Mark 2 coach however carried the B4 bogies from new. A heavier duty version, the B5, was standard on Southern Region Mk1 based EMUs from the 1960s onwards. Some Mark 1 catering cars had mixed bogies—a B5 under the kitchen end, and a B4 under the seating end. Some of the B4 fitted Mark 2s, as well as many B4 fitted Mark 1 BGs were allowed to run at 110 miles per hour (180 km/h) with extra maintenance, particularly of the wheel profile, and more frequent exams.

BT10 Bogie

BT10 High speed bogie as used on MK3.

The BT10 bogie was introduced on the British Rail Mark 3 coach in the 1970s. Each wheel is separately connected to the bogie by a swing-arm axle.

There is dual suspension:

  • primary suspension via a coil spring and damper mounted on each axle.
  • secondary suspension via two air springs mounted on the pivot plank. This is connected to the bogie by pendulum links. A constant coach height is maintained by air valves.[3]


Most diesel locomotives and electric locomotives are carried on bogies (UK) or trucks (US). Trucks used in the USA include AAR type A switcher truck, Blomberg B, HT-C truck and Flexicoil [4].



Side view of a SEPTA PCC car bogie

Tram bogies are much simpler in design because of lighter axle load, this and tighter curves that are found on tramways means that tram bogies almost never have more than two axles. Furthermore, some tramways also have steeper gradients and vertical as well as horizontal curves, which means that tram bogies often need to pivot on the horizontal axis as well.

Some articulated trams have bogies located under articulations, a setup referred to as a Jacobs bogie. Often low-floor trams are fitted with non-pivoting bogies and many tramway enthusiasts see this as a retrograde step.


In the past, many different types of bogie ("truck") have been used under tramcars, e.g. "Brill", "Peckham" and "maximum traction". A maximum traction truck has one driving axle with large wheels and one non-driving axle with smaller wheels. The bogie pivot is located off-centre so that more than half the weight rests on the driving axle.

Tracked vehicles

Some tanks and other tracked vehicles have bogies as external suspension components (see armoured fighting vehicle suspension). This type of bogie usually has two or more road wheels and some type of sprung suspension to smooth the ride across rough terrain. Bogie suspensions keep much of their components on the outside of the vehicle, saving internal space. Although vulnerable to antitank fire, they can often be repaired or replaced in the field.

Hybrid systems

Model of the pneumatic bogie system of a MP 89 carriage used on the Meteor metro.

Rubber-tyred metro trains utilise a specialised version of railway bogies. As well as the standard running wheels (rubber instead of steel) there are additional horizontal guide wheels in front of and behind the running wheels.

Variable gauge axles

To overcome breaks of gauge some bogies are being fitted with variable gauge axles (VGA) so that they can operated on two different gauges. These include the SUW 2000 system from ZNTK.


  • Vickers Ruwolt [5]

See also


External links

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address